States reopen in US as coronavirus pandemic persists

Updated 9:57 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020
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11:05 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

Detroit outdoor workers can return to work, but office employees will have to wait, mayor says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

John Spens of Geier Farms sets up at the Detroit Farmers Market on May 2.
John Spens of Geier Farms sets up at the Detroit Farmers Market on May 2. Carlos Osorio/AP

As some city workers in Detroit begin to go back to work under some restrictions, Mayor Mike Duggan said the city is ready for outdoor work under protocols, but it might take some time for office workers to return.

“We're not bringing people back sitting next to each other in cubicles and desks. This state isn't ready for that. But we definitely believe we can bring people under these protocols for outdoor work back safely.”

He detailed the protocols under which outdoor workers can return to work. They are required to wear masks and socially distance on the job. They must also test negative for Covid-19 before returning to work.

“We are bringing people back under the strictest medical protocols in the country,” he said. “It's the same protocols we put in our police department, our fire department and our bus system, and we had a dramatic positive effect in bringing down the infections.”

Meanwhile, protesters in Michigan are criticizing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, demanding she reopen the state. Mayor Duggan said the protests haven’t impacted Detroit and his measures are consistent with Whitmer’s orders.

“I haven't had to close parks, I haven't had to post curfews because we've had great compliance," he added.


10:49 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

Supreme Court hears oral arguments over historic teleconference

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue

The Marshal of the Supreme Court began with the traditional "Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!"

The US Supreme Court justices began conducting their business today via teleconference this morning. In general, as the justices started their questions, they sounded a bit stilted, but then they warmed up and it sounded more natural. Justice Clarence Thomas, who almost never asks questions, took his turn launching his inquiries after Chief Justice John Roberts. The justices proceeded in order of seniority.

When it was Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s turn, there was silence on the line for a moment. But then she piped in — “sorry Chief,” she said and began her questions.

Roberts is keeping time. He cut off a government lawyer more than once so that the next justice could speak.

Kagan seemed the most accustomed to the teleconference. She asked several questions and had more give and take with the lawyer


10:57 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

These 3 key coronavirus spread indicators are all down in NYC, mayor says

From CNN’s Sheena Jones

A sign about the novel coronavirus is seen in Brooklyn's Prospect Park Market in New York on May 2.
A sign about the novel coronavirus is seen in Brooklyn's Prospect Park Market in New York on May 2. Yana Paskova/Getty Images

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said today that three key indicators of the spread of Covid-19 that New York City is monitoring are down:

  • At least 88 people were admitted to the hospital Saturday for Covid-19, that number is down from 113 reported on Friday.
  • At least 632 people are in ICUs across the city, and that number is down from 645 as on Friday.
  • Of all the people tested for Covid-19, about 17% tested positive. That number is down from the 20% that tested positive as of Friday.
10:21 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

White House's vaccine effort hopes to have 3 or 4 eventually made available

From CNN's Jim Acosta

The White House's "Operation Warp Speed," which aims to develop a coronavirus vaccine quickly, expects to have six to eight of the vaccines being tested to make it to subsequent rounds of trials.

Officials’ goal is to have three to four vaccines then make it through final testing and to be made available — but that depends on how the testing and clinical trials proceed and how successful they are.

Some background: An administration official told CNN scientists have identified 14 vaccines to focus on for development as part of the operation.

"Operation Warp Speed" was a name chosen by the scientists working on all the challenges that surround vaccine deployment. They are already working on solutions to quickly ramp up production, organize distribution and determine who gets the first doses of the vaccine. 

Trump said Sunday night at a Fox News town hall, “We are very confident we are going to have a vaccine by the end of the year.” And Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told NBC on Thursday it’s possible there could be a vaccine by early next year.

10:34 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

FDA to require Covid-19 antibody test makers to get emergency use authorization

From CNN's Sara Murray

The US Food and Drug Administration will now require antibody test makers to promptly seek FDA authorization, as the agency aims to rein in unproven and fraudulent tests that have flooded the market. 

The new policy, announced today, requires commercial manufacturers to submit emergency authorization requests, along with validation data for their antibody tests, within 10 business days. The FDA is also setting specific performance recommendations for all test developers.

The agency also said it has the capability, working with the National Cancer Institute, to independently validate antibody tests on the market.

Why this matters: The move to require authorization reverses a policy the FDA put in place in mid-March, which loosened approval standards and allowed companies to sell antibody tests, also known as serological tests, without providing evidence that the tests worked. It quickly became clear that many of the tests were unreliable and some companies marketed tests that they falsely claimed were FDA-approved or FDA-authorized or claimed the antibody tests could be used to diagnose Covid-19.

More context: Antibody tests are used to check for prior Covid-19 infection and can provide a better sense of how much of the population has already been infected and might have some immunity to the virus. It’s still not clear whether the presence of antibodies means someone is immune or how long that immunity might last.

To date, at least 10 antibody tests have been authorized under an individual EUA, most within just the past few days, and over 200 antibody tests are currently the subject of a pre-EUA or EUA review.


10:50 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

Shops and restaurants in most of Florida allowed to reopen today

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, on May 3.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, on May 3. John Raoux/AP

Florida is allowing businesses to open throughout much of the state today, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis said restaurants and retail spaces could let customers inside, but only at 25% capacity, and people must adhere to social distancing guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bars, fitness centers and places that offer personal services, likes hair styling, also will open later.

Note: These reopening measures don't apply in three of the counties hit hardest by coronavirus. They are Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, which account for about 6.2 million of Florida's residents, according to US Census data.

DeSantis he took a victory lap that began at the White House last week — touting his "tailored" and "surgical" approach to stay-at-home orders as the central reason Florida has so far defied the dire predictions that it would become "way worse than Italy."

10:18 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

New York City is handing out 7.5 million face coverings for free

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio visits a food shelf in Brooklyn, New York, on April 14, organized by The Campaign Against Hunger.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio visits a food shelf in Brooklyn, New York, on April 14, organized by The Campaign Against Hunger. Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City will immediately begin handing out free face coverings to residents.

The mayor said the city intends to give out 7.5 million face masks and cloth face coverings.

"Wherever you turn, you're going to be offered a face covering," de Blasio said.

In terms of where they'll be handed out, the mayor said parks "will be one focal point," as well as public housing and food distribution centers. He added that New York Police Department officers will be carrying a supply of face coverings to hand out as well.

9:59 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

NYC mayor says that the city has enough medical supplies for "the week ahead"

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said this morning, "For the first time since March, we actually start a week with enough of all of the PPEs we need" in New York City.

De Blasio said that every hospital and nursing home in the city will get the medical supplies including N95 masks and gowns "for the week ahead."

"We have a little breathing room," the mayor added.

9:59 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

US stocks open lower

From CNN's Anneken Tappe

US stocks kicked the new week off lower as tensions between the United States and China are rising.

What's this about: President Trump last week threatened China could face new tariffs over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said over the weekend there is "enormous evidence" that the virus originated in a laboratory in Wuhan.

Here's how the markets opened the week:

  • The Dow opened 0.9%, or 210 points, lower. 
  • The S&P 500 kicked off 0.7% lower. 
  • The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.5%.

More context: US airline stocks opened lower after Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett dumped his entire stake in the four airline stocks that company had owned.

American, United, Delta and Southwest Airlines all fell after Buffet disclosed he sold his shares because he believes it will take years for air travel to recover from the coronavirus crisis.